Three

shamisen, 21-string koto,
Japanese percussion (2010) 5′

Program Note

I am not normally the sort of person who is interested in numbers. As I wrote this piece, though, I found it nearly impossible to ignore an intense gravitational pull towards the number three. Besides the obvious connection to three (this piece is a trio, after all), there are a variety of other references. Originally I had intended to write a three-minute piece, though it gained two more minutes during composition. Countless gestures in the piece, including the opening explosive statement, are repeated three times. The piece itself is divided into three sections, the last of which is dominated by a three-note motive. (I should mention that this is my first experience writing for the shamisen, a three-stringed instrument. Fate strikes again?) The majority of this piece was composed in the third week of January and, in a coincidental turn, it was premiered in the third month of the year.

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